Photographing New Hampshire (Pilgrim Pines)

Horseshoes Pinecones The Shore of Swanzey Lake The First Flowers

Over the weekend I attended a church retreat at Pilgrim Pines, a retreat center on Lake Swanzey in New Hampshire. While there I took a lot of pictures, mostly of the retreat activities, but I did take some time to enjoy the beauty of the lake and surrounding woods through my camera lenses. Above are four of the best photos I took; I've also posted a few more in my portfolio and on flickr.

Open Source and (it's lack of) Design

I've been looking for a decent open source project manager for some time now and I keep almost finding what I want; but there's always one aspect that I could never live with - and it's too often the design. Most packages I've looked at have a design that looks like it came from the last century: sharp corners, a flat layout and/or no sense of color at all. Almost nothing is even remotely modern. And this doesn't just affect project management software, a big chunk of open source web software suffers in much the same way.

One reason perhaps, is that good design is so hard, it always takes several iterations to get a design "just right." And, if the infrastructure isn't built to handle design iterations easily (e.g. poor coding practices; such as hard coding the design rather than using templates, etc...) it become a tedious and error-prone process as well, leaving the internet with more than it's fair share of ugly (if functional) software.

It also probably has something to do with the fact that a CS degree doesn't really require any design courses and tends to spend far more time on the nuts and bolts of programming (i.e. how to write an algorithm) than it does emphasizing the interface. I think there would be a lot more good interfaces in existence if this was addressed. Say, require two to four classes in interface design and usability.

It's really a pity that there are only a few projects that really seem to get interface design, because it's definitely worth the extra effort.

Photographing Boston (The Charles River)

Charles/MGH Red Line Stop Spring on the Charles Footbridge Looking across the Charles

I realized last weekend that I've been in Boston for almost a year now and I don't have the pictures to prove it. So, in order to rectify that problem I made my way down the Charles River and spent over 2 hours walking around and ended up taking about 270 frames (90 photos since I shoot brackets of 3). Out of all those photos, the above four are what I consider to be the best. I've posted a few more on flickr and in my portfolio.

Since there's way to much of Boston for me to ever photograph in one weekend, I've decided that I'm going to try and find one day a week to take photos of Boston and make this an ongoing series where I'll feature pictures from a different area of Boston each week.